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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

VA-Gov: Machine Problems?

Posted by DavidNYC

Man, you gotta hate hearing stuff like this:

News 7 has received calls from several voters in at least four different precincts who say their votes for Tim Kaine were not recorded or took several attempts to go through.

They contend the electronic touch screens repeatedly indicated they were voting for Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore instead of registering their intended vote for his Democratic opponent Tim Kaine.

Roanoke Co. Registrar Judy Stokes says she doesn't want to say the problem is operator error on the part of the voters, but she points out the touch screens are sensitive. She says anyone who is having difficulty voting should ask one of the poll workers for assistance.

I really hope it is voter error - and only a handful of voters at that. If you fuck up your vote on one of those clunking dinosaur NYC voting machines, you are totally out of luck unless you go get an order from a judge. (Yeah, right.) I can't imagine you get much sympathy if you mess up your vote elsewhere. But if the machines are fouling up, then it's a lot easier to blame voters, no?

(Via Taegan Goddard.)

Posted at 04:35 PM in 2005 Elections, Virginia | Technorati

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"Voter error" means the machines were badly designed enough that voters accidentally voted the wrong way. You could say the problems with the Palm Beach butterfly ballots resulted from voter error, but it doesn't make the situation any better or less damaging to democracy.

If a significant number of voters are voting incorrectly, the solution is not to say the voters need to try harder or be better trained -- to reshape the voters to fit the machines. The solution is to redesign the machines (and test them better in the first place) so that they fit the voters.

Posted by: KCinDC [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2005 07:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment